False Alarm: American Isn’t Adding Award Ticket Fuel Surcharges… Yet

My, my it’s been an interesting morning reading the multitude of blog posts and reactions on Twitter to the “mistake” American Airlines made by adding fuel surcharges to non-British Airways/Iberia AAdvantage award tickets.

Perhaps I shouldn’t put “mistake” in quotes, as it genuinely was an error according to American’s statement:

Last night, in a routine effort to better align American to industry standards with other global carriers, American began collecting carrier-imposed surcharges on tickets for travel on other carriers’ metal.

This change was intended for revenue tickets only, but the surcharge was erroneously added to AAdvantage award redemptions on other airlines as well.

Except in the cases of British Airways and Iberia, where American currently collects these surcharges, no carrier-imposed surcharges will be applied when redeeming AAdvantage miles for award travel on other carriers. Any customers who encountered this fee in error will be fully refunded. We apologize for the inconvenience.

But would anyone really be surprised if U.S. carriers began imposing fuel surcharges on all award tickets? I wouldn’t. And I don’t think it would be illegal or out of their authority to do so.

I certainly wouldn’t like it if it happens sometime down the road, but I don’t think I’d be quite as emotional as some seemed to have taken American’s “mistake” this morning.

Now… when will American announce its new revenue requirement for elite status? 😉

– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.


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  1. Any revenue requirement should tie to their profits, inversely. Losing money? Higher revenue requirements. Making money? Lower requirements… or you pay me back for bad years. 🙂 “Welcome on board, sir, you’re in seat 4A, here’s your PDB and a nice, crisp $50 bill! Thanks for flying American!”

  2. bloggers like you can play helpful role in fighting these injustices
    like devaluation, fuel surcharge and other unfair rip off change fees.
    what is so worst about fuel surcharge is that it makes your miles
    absolutely useless and worthless. why use 80 or 100k miles for coach
    round trip to india and than pay $500 or 800$ in fuel surcharge fee? Your are paying 80% of the full cash fare on top of the miles. if
    that happens, than only good thing about using miles will be booking
    hotels. fuel surcharge is a rip off & fraud. change fees and extreme
    devaluations are also rip offs. FIGHT BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STAND FOR US PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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